Mascherano scoffs at Barcelona rumours

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has denied reports claiming he is set to join Barcelona – and insists he is ‘only thinking of the Reds’.

The Argentina international has become a vital part of manager Rafa Benitez’s plans since joining the Anfield outfit on a five-year contract in 2007.

That form is reported to have caught the eye of Barca, but Mascherano is unaware of any interest from the Champions League winners.

The 24-year-old angered Benitez at the start of May after confessing he was unsure over his long-term future, but he now has no doubts.

“I still have three years on my contract with Liverpool and I am happy there,” he told TyC Sports.

“I am comfortable and thinking only of Liverpool. I don’t know anything about an approach from Barcelona or any other club.”

Mascherano, meanwhile, has reiterated his wish to see the Reds sign his Argentina team-mate Carlos Tevez.

The forward’s future is in question as he has come to the end of his lease arrangement at Manchester United, who are reluctant to pay a quoted price of around £25million to make the deal permanent.

United chief executive David Gill is planning more talks with Kia Joorabchian, who owns Tevez’s economic rights, but Mascherano wants Liverpool to move in as several clubs monitor the situation.

“I hope we can count on him,” he told Radio La Red in Argentina. “Because of the type of player Carlos is, he would be great for us.

“However, it will be a tough fight because so many clubs are interested in him.”